Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

The cruise industry ;res de l’Atlantique had an excellent season in 2023

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The Oasis of the Seas cruise ship, one of the largest in the world, visited Saint John, New Brunswick , in 2022 (above) and in 2023.

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Atlantic ports welcomed 609 cruise ships this year, around fifty more than in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the industry members' association (ACCA) whose offices are in Halifax.

The association's executive director, Sarah Rumley, says the data is preliminary because some ports have not yet provided their final figures.

These ships carried nearly 869,000 passengers, approximately 5,500 fewer than in 2019. They mainly called at Charlottetown, Corner Brook, Halifax, Saint John (in New Brunswick) and Sydney.

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The Zaandam was the first liner to call at Charlottetown this season, in April.

Passengers and crew members made approximately 236,000 visits to land during their respective cruises from April to August, compared to approximately 157,000 visits in 2022, according to Ms. Rumley.

We know that cruise passengers are likely visiting more than one port in the region and, by extension, this also means they could spend at multiple ports. The same goes for crew members and the cruise ships themselves, so wherever possible we use the phrase "passenger visits" to better understand the economic impact, explains Sarah Rumley.

The ports of Sydney and Corner Brook saw an increase of 74% and of 58% of cruise-related activities in 2023 compared to 2022.

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Corner Brook and Sydney have surpassed 2019 figures, welcoming record numbers of cruise ships and visitors, says Sarah Rumley.

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A cruise ship in Sydney Harbor, Nova Scotia. (File photo)

The Port of Saint John was a finalist in the Port of the Year category this fall at the Seatrade Cruise Awards ceremony which took place in Hamburg, Germany. The port of Haugesund in Norway won the prize.

The industry does not yet have an estimate of its economic impact in 2023, but she points out that it was a question of 2,000 jobs and an impact of $347 million before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With information from Margaux Tertre

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